Blackwolf the Dragonmaster's Diary of Magecraft

Being a Chronicle of the Inner Secrets of, and Spells of Magick as Wielded by, the Philosopher of the Internet and Unofficial Sorcerer-in-Residence of the City of New York

My Photo
Location: New York, New York, United States

As New York's Unofficial Wizard, my mission is to encourage the Mortals of Manhattan to imagine responsibly!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Mardi Gras, according to Blackwolf

Well, here we are at the most magical Tuesday of them all. Today is the last day of Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans; and right now, the 2005 Rex, King of Carnival ---- mundanely known as one Michael Joseph Rapier --- is toasting his Queen, Miss Anna Grace LeCorgne, at the Rex Parade Reviewing stand, at the site of Gallier Hall in downtown Nawluns.

Later on this evening, King Michael and Queen Anna will be dressed in the traditional golden royal robes, emblematic of Rex and his Queen, as they preside over the Rex Ball and Meeting of the Courts of Rex and Comus, which is always broadcast by the Big Easy's PBS station, WYES-TV, LIVE from the Morris F.X. Jeff Municipal Auditorium. Peggy and Errol Laborde and Henri Schindler are the correspondents for the evening's festivities; among the many segments available for inclusion on the telecast include a brief history of Rex, interviews with past Kings and Queens of Carnival, profiles of the Royals of 2K5 --- and, as they say, much, much more! (Heh-heh!)

There was of old, if memory serves, a time when Mardi Gras used to be a really great celebration, in terms of watching it on television. In those days, the Travel Channel teamed up with Fox' New Orleans affilliate, WVUE-TV, which at that time was the top station in that market when it came to non-stop Mardi Gras coverage. The greatest of those Travel Channel/WVUE team-ups was their very first, in 1995. Louis Frierson and Mary Louise (Marley) Eastman were Rex and his Queen that year, and the minute your Dragonmaster first saw Their Merry Majesties, well --- I was, quite simply, hooked!

Since the Travel Channel's purchase by Discovery Communications, the Mardi Gras programming there has been few and far between; now, all the daytime coverage is dominated by one Nawluns station: that would be NBC's Big Easy affilliate, WDSU-TV; on the other hand, CBS' Nawluns home, WWL-TV, can do a cooler job than the New Orleans Channel. After Discovery bought the Travel Channel, they did attempt to renew the partnership with WVUE; alas, they never could keep it up. Ultimately, the twits reduced their Mardi Gras coverage to a blarsted 3-hour highlights reel, with some foolish Hollywood celebrity brought in to go to New Orleans and perform based on a 'prepared' script. In the end, the Discovery/WVUE partnership was discontinued. Lack of national viewers, I shouldn't wonder. Always the reason as opposed to the excuse!

Luckily, I can always depend on the WYES crew to do proper justice to the Rex Ball; Peggy once assured your Dragonmaster, by way of e-mail, that Rex and his Queen do get to chat during the Ball itself. Indeed, I remember e-mailing Peggy with the idea that Rex and his Queen should respond to e-mail greetings sent to them from all across the country! (Heh-heh!) Unfortunately, the idea never came to proper fruition.

Still, I continue to wish that the Rex Ball were telecast live nationwide over the majority of PBS stations; in hindsight, it may be just as well that they don't. The present lord high muckety-mucks running PBS are wusses, anyway; that Postcards from Buster incident being among the various reasons I believe thus. Regardless, this is no time to be grumpy. 'Tis Mardi Gras, you sillies! And of course, to Their Merry Majesties of 2005, Mr. Rapier and Miss LaCorgne, I wish the both of you a jolly reign --- even if it IS just for one day --- and I hope I can stand before the King and Queen of Carnival one of these days, that I might share with them some of my many adventures, both within and beyond the Mortals' Realm.

Until then: Hail, Rex! Huzzah! and Hurrah!

Till next time,

Master Blackwolf